William Garrett.

Reminiscences of public men in Alabama : for thirty years, with an appendix online

. (page 73 of 91)
Online LibraryWilliam GarrettReminiscences of public men in Alabama : for thirty years, with an appendix → online text (page 73 of 91)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


soon gave way from the exposures of a camp life, and in 1862,
he died.

Few men who occupied public position in Alabama have, within
so short a time, made a more decided impression, or took in a
larger range of respect and influence than did Col. Bullock. His
death was generally regretted as a loss to the country, and espe
cially of the State which was proud of him. The first Legislature
after the war, named a new county in honor of his memory, which
embraces within its limits some of the finest lands, and best citi
zens of the State. Col. Richard H. Powell, of Union Springs,
the Senator from Macon, is entitled to the credit of inaugurating
this project which perpetuates the name of Bullock.

OAKLEY H. BYNUM, of Lawrence, was first elected to the
House in 1839, a young man, and was again elected in 1849. In
the early part of the latter session he was attacked with fever,
which prevented him from sharing in the labors of the House.
In 1857, he was elected to the Senate, and with vigilance and
fidelity he served through his term of four years, often participat
ing in the debates, in which he exhibited wit, and was happy in
his retorts upon the floor. Col. Bynum was a member of the
National Convention at Baltimore, in 1860, and supported Mr.
Douglas for the Presidency. He was an opulent planter.

DANIEL CRAWFORD, of Coosa, made his first appearance in the
House in 1847, and served with industry and credit on the Com
mittee of Ways and Means, and, although a new member, assisted
in getting up the revenue bill of that year, which, a little unpop
ular at the time, contributed to the preservation of the faith of the
State. In 1857, he was returned to the Senate, and served a ses
sion, bringing to the discharge of duty a good judgment, and
much reading and reflection.

In 1865, he was elected a delegate to the State Convention that
formed the Constitution of that year, and rendered good service
in the deliberations of that body, on Committees and in council.
He is no public speaker, at which I am not a little surprised, that
a gentleman who converses well, and intelligently, reasons logi-



Ifaniiniscences of Public Men in Alabama. 655

cally, and seldom fails to make out a case with clearness, can not
get up and say publicly, in the form of a speech, what he can ex
press so admirably in conversation. Mr. Crawford, however, is
not the only gentleman I have known who labored under this
disability.

Few men in the State are more deservedly respected ; few illus
trate more fully, in fitness for public trusts, the injustice of the
Fourteenth Amendment; and yet, with his mature capacity and
character for usefulness in public life, few men have less thirst for
its honors and employments, or are more wedded to private station
than Mr. Crawford. He is a native of South Carolina, but came
to Alabama when a young man, and became, by^well directed en
ergies, the architect of his own fortune.

ROBERT 8. HEFFLIN, of Randolph, is a Georgian, and, in 1849,
was elected to the House, following his father in the same relation
by four years. Under the old organization he was allied fully
with the Democratic party. In 1859, he was elected to the Sen
ate, as the successor of Mr. Henry M. Gay, a modest, worthy gen
tleman, who represented his constituents honestly for a term, and
died a few years ago.

Mr. HefAin s service in the Senate extended through six years.
In the elections of 1860, he supported Mr. Douglas as the repre
sentative of the National party. During the war his relations be
came complicated with the Confederate Government, and he felt
justified, in self-defense, in a transfer across the line.

After the surrender, he was appointed by Provisional Gov
ernor Parsons, Judge of the Probate Court, and in 1868, he was
upon the Grant Electoral ticket. In 1869, he was the nominee
of the Republican party for Congress, got the return certificate,
and served through his term, just now expired.

Mr. Hefflin s life has been chequered by various political
shades and relations. It is not my province or desire to crit
icise or to pass judgment in such cases on public men. Many of
their acts, in junctures of peculiar trial, however much we may
regret and disapprove them, should be forgotten, and the waves
of time be allowed to roll over them with obliterating effect upon
whatever of error or mistake they involve. My personal and
official connection with Mr. Hefflin, many years ago, was friendly
and agreeable. He was true, straightforward and reliable in his
actions. His present affiliations as a politician are his own.
Whether for good or for evil, te has the right to determine for
himself, even when public opinion assumes the prerogative.

ALLEN C. JONES, a Virginian and a Democrat, was first elected
to the House in 1851, which_was a little remarkable in that day



656 Reminiscenoes of PvJblio Men in Alabama.

of old party organizations, and Greene county having a decided
Whig majority. But his success was owing to personal popularity,
and to family influences, he having married a daughter of Col.
John Erwin, who, for thirty years, was a leading lawyer and poli
tician, of great intellect and force of character. In 1857, Mr.
Jones was elected to the Senate from Greene and Marengo, and
served through a term of four years, an active and efficient
member.

He gave himself to the Confederate service, and had the com
mand, of a regiment. His conduct during the war was distin
guished for patriotism and courage. Col. Jones still resides in
Greene, and is justly considered a high-minded and useful citizen.

S. K. McSpADDEN, of Cherokee, commenced, in 1857, a term
of four years, in which he established a respectable character for
talents and attention to business. He is a lawyer, and in prepar
ing himself for his profession, he had to struggle with poverty
and its depressing influences. When the war called the sons of
the South to rally to her standard, he obeyed the summons, and
rose to the command of a regiment, and returned home with rep
utation for gallant service.

In 1865, Col. McSpadden was elected Chancellor of the North
ern Division, and continued in the office, performing its duties in
a manner satisfactory to the public, until he was superseded by
the Reconstruction measures of Congress. He now resides in
Cherokee, practicing his profession.

JOHN ROWE, of Tallapoosa, a Georgian, was first elected to the
House in 1849, upon the Democratic ticket, and reflected in 1851,
as the colleague of Gen. Bulger, on a ticket in opposition to the
Compromise measures of Congress. At both sessions, he exhib
ited a fair degree of ability, and by his general information, he
had influence with his fellow-members, and in the political coun
cils of the day.

In 1857, he came to the Senate for a full term, and brought to
the discharge of his duties an improved capacity which gained him
confidence and respect in that body, in which he proved an effi
cient co-worker. He had fine social qualities, which rendered him
a pleasant sojvumer in the offices of the Capitol during periods of
relaxation. He had read much, and was well versed on political
and other questions, and, while modest and unpretendjng, he could
impart information to his fellow-members, which was always gladly
received.

Though somewhat cautious in making professions, Mr. Rowe
was true and unwavering in his personal friendships. His course,
public and private, was directed by strong convictions of duty.



Reminiscences of Public Men in Alabama. 657

He settled in the county at an early day, where he still resides,
in the possession of a large property, acquired by industry and
prudent management.

REPRESENTATIVES.

Iii the House, a number of gentlemen served for the first time
at the session of 1857, with many of experience in legislation.

MICHAEL J. BULGER was born in South Carolina, and came
to Alabama when seventeen years of age. He first stopped in
Montgomery county, where he remained until 1834, when he re
moved to Coosa county and settled at Nixburg, and in 1838
changed his residence to Tallapoosa, his present home.

He is a man of marked individuality of character, as shown in
all the antagonism of public and private relations, with decision
and firmness stamped upon his lace, which would attract notice in
any crowd of men. These qualities were manifest in the Legis
lature, where, in 1851, he first took his seat in the House as a
Southern Eights Democrat. Ho was again elected in 1857, and
always took a leading part in support of what he conceived to be
right principles, and resisting wrong and oppression at every turn.
He would jttlibiwter the House for a day and night to defeat a
measure which he was satisfied in his mind was unjust or oppress
ive in its character, or the manner of carrying it through was ob
jectionable. He well understood parliamentary law, especially
that part which was of use to a minority, and, with perfect calm
ness, he would, by privileged and side motions, direct the action of
the House for hours together.

He was elected a Brigadier-General of militia, and held his
commission for several years, laboring diligently to infuse and
maintain a military spirit among the people. He was appointed
by the Democratic State Convention of January, 1860, a delegate
to the Charleston Convention, and attended upon its sessions. He
withdrew with the delegation from Alabama, and took no further
part in any of the proceedings, contenting himself to look on, yet
with deep interest in the result of things. In the break-up of
the party at home, he adhered to the National organization, and
was placed upon the Electoral ticket, and canvassed extensively
in support of Mr. Douglas.

A very important period in the life of Gen. Bulger is now ap
proached, and I will try to represent him in his course correctly,
without exaggeration or material omission.

Upon the call of a Convention, after Mr. Lincoln was elected
President, Gen. Bulger was brought forward by the people of
Tallapoosa for, and elected to, a seat in that body. He engaged
in its deliberations with a full sense of the responsibilit y, and in



658 Reminiscences of Public Men in Alabama.

the early part of the session submitted a preamble and resolutions
setting forth his views and denning his position, which may be
found in Smith s Debates of the Convention, p. 57. The first two
resolutions are in the following words :

1. Resolved, That separate State secession, in the present, emergency, is unwise
and impolitic ; and Alabama will not secede without making an effort to secure
the cooperation of the Southern States.

2. Resolved, That the Convention invite each of the Southern (slave-holding)
States to meet the State of Alabama in a Convention of Delegates, equal in num
ber to the several representations in the Congress of the United States, at

on the day of , for the purpose of consideration and agreement as to the

wrong we suffer in the Union, and the dangers that we are threatened with ; and
to determine what relief we will demand for the present, and security for the fu
ture; and what remedy we will apply if our first demands are not complied with.

These were referred to the Committee of thirteen, who after
ward reported the Ordinance of Secession. While the Ordinance
was pending, he voted for a proposition to submit it to the people.

He remained in the Convention throughout the whole session,
taking part in its proceedings, and assisted in the reorganization
of the State Government under the new order of things. His
course in the Convention was made the subject of gross misunder
standing, not to say misrepresentation, of his true character, and
in August, 1861, he was defeated for the Senate under circum
stances mortifying to his friends, who understood his position and
principles.

In February, 1862, at the age of fifty-eight years, he volun
teered in the Confederate service, and was elected Captain of a
company. He was in the seven days 7 fight before Richmond, and
was wounded twice at Cedar Run, while commanding the regi
ment. He was sent home to recover from his wounds, and was
elected to the Senate, and served one session. The next day
after, the Legislature adjourned, he returned to his regiment in
Virginia, and went with his command to Gettysburg. While
leading it in battle, he was severely wounded, and left on the
field, reported dead. He was captured by the enemy, and re
mained in prison until March, 1864, when he was exchanged.
He immediately repaired to his regiment, of which he remained
in command until the day before the evacuation of Richmond.

In the first election for Governor, under the reorganization of
the State in 1865, Gen. Bulger, who had the Winter before been
brought forward by his friends for the position, stood for an elec
tion, and was defeated by Robert M. Patton, of Lauderdale
county. In 1866, he was returned to the Senate to fill a vacancy,
and served one session, the last under President Johnson s policy
of reconstruction. He has firmly opposed, step by step, the meas
ures of Congress for reconstructing the Southern States, and is
now hopelessly disfranchised.



Reniiniscenoes of Public Men in Alabama. 659

The character of Gen. Bulger will fully appear in his record,
which speaks for itself. Alabama has no citizen more brave, none
more patriotic; and while he has contended with the vicisitudes
of fortune, politically, few men have a more consistent record,
or stand higher in the estimation of those who knew him, than
Michael J. Bulger.

HENRY DE LAMAR CLAYTON was born in Pulaski county,
Georgia, March 7, 1827. He is a son of Nelson Clayton, Esq.,
formerly a member of the Georgia Legislature, who, from 1838,
resided near Opelika, Alabama, until his death, December 27,
1809; and Avho was extensively known for his unbounded liber
ality and kindness to the soldiers during the late war.

H. D. Clayton was educated at Emory and Henry College, Vir
ginia, where he graduated with distinction in 1848, being awarded
the Roberson Pri/e Medal. He read law with "Shorter &
Brother" (Hon. John Gill Shorter and Hon. Eli S. Shorter), iii
Eufaula, and was admitted to the bar in 1849. In 1850, he mar
ried Miss Victoria V. Hunter, a daughter of Gov. John L. Hun
ter, of Eufaula. He was remarkably attentive to, and successful
in, all his business undertakings; so that, at the beginning of the
war, he had amassed a respectable fortune.

He was elected to the Legislature in 1857, without opposition,
having received the unanimous nomination of his party, and was
reelected in 1859. He has always been a Democrat, and in 1860
was a secessionist. He was a member of the House, and Chair
man of the Committee on the Military in 1861, when Gov. Moore
called for twelve months volunteers to go to Pensacola, to relieve
those who had been sent to capture the Navy Yard and Forts
Barrancas and Me Roe. At the instance of the " Clay ton Guards"
and " Eufaula Ilifies," he obtained their acceptance, by Governor
Moore, as a part of the force then called for. He had been the
Captain of the former, and both of these companies composed a
part of the then Third Regiment of the " Alabama Volunteer
Corps," of which he was at that time the Colonel. Gov. Moore
declined to accept the regiment, although every compam in it
tendered their services, for the reason that two regiments only
being called for, he wished to receive the companies from all parts
of the State. The two companies went into camp, at Eufaula, on
the 17th day of January, 1861.

Col. Clayton obtained leave of absence from the Legislature,
and received instructions from the Governor to bring them to
gether at Montgomery, where, on the 12th of February, they
were formally mustered into the military service of the State for
twelve months.

Seeing that he could not prevail on the Governor to accept the



660 Reminiscences of Public Men in Alabama.

regiment, Col. Clayton was himself mustered in as a private in
the Clayton Guards. The Governor, finding that he was determ
ined to go, regardless of the appeals that he could not be spared
from the Legislature, on the following day sent him a commission
as Aid-de-Camp, with instructions to take command of the Ala
bama volunteers near Pensacola, and organize them into regiments
as fast as the required number of companies should arrive. On
the organization of the First Alabama Regiment, on the 28th of
March, he was elected the Colonel. This was the first regiment
of twelve months (or indeed of any kind of) troops received into
the Confederate service. Among the privates in this regiment
were such men as Hon. John Cochran, Hon. James L. Pugh, Hon.
E. C. Bullock, and many others little less distinguished. The
faithful and prompt discharge of all the duties of private soldiers
by these gentlemen, and the earnest support of the Colonel in
the trying ordeal of enforcing discipline, as a soldier, among those
with whom he had been accustomed upon terms of equality and
familiarity, was in the highest degree complimentary to themselves
and to him. They would never allow themselves to be relieved
of any duty that fell to their lot, whether on guard, throwing up
works, or mounting cannon. Their cheerful compliance with all or
ders, and the influence which their example exerted in stilling the
complaints of others, can only be properly appreciated when it is
remembered that the regiment was composed largely of the first
gentlemen of the country, who had been suddenly called together
in a military camp, in the expectation of a battle, and instead of
that, except the battle of Santa Rosa, and the two bombardments,
they were kept for nearly a year, digging in the sand among the
fleas and musquitoes of the Gulf coast.

Upon the expiration of the term of service of the regiment,
although Col. Clayton was requested by nearly all the officers in
it to reorganize it and retain the command, fearing that as it had
become so well drilled in heavy artillery, it would be kept upon
post and garrison duty, and himself desiring a more active field,
he yielded the reorganization of the regiment to Lieut. Colonel
Stedman, and, returning home, organized the Thirty-ninth Ala
bama Regiment. This he commanded in Gen. Bragg s Kentucky
campaign, and until after the battle of Murfreesboro. In this bat
tle he was seriously wounded. Here, also, his brother, Captain
Joseph C. Clayton, who commanded a company in the same regi
ment, and was a most estimable Christian gentleman and soldier,
was mortally wounded.

On returning to his command, after thirty days of absence, still
suffering from his wound, he was surprised by the delivery to him
of a commission as Brigadier-General. Gen. Clayton was at once
put in command of a brigade composed of the 18th, 36th, 38th,



Reminiscences of Public Men in Alabama. 661

and 32d and 58th (combined) Alabama Regiments, and assigned
to the Division of Major-General A. P. Stewart. It is not neces
sary to speak here of the part taken by "Clayton s Brigade," in
the campaigns and battles that followed. The battles of Chicka-
mauga, Rocky Face Mountain, and New Hope Church, belong to
the history of the war, and the conduct of Clayton s Brigade, and
its commanding officer, will compose a portion of it. The part he
performed in the last named battle, was such as to secure him the
additional promotion to the rank of Major-Gen eral, and the com
mand of the Division to which he was still attached, on the pro
motion of Lieutenant-General Stewart.

Gen. Clayton participated in all the subsequent campaigns and
battles of the army of Tennessee, up to the surrender of Gen.
Johnston, in April, 1865. After the battle of Nashville, with his
Division, and Gen. Pettus Brigade, he covered the retreat of the
army until the evening of the following day, when he was relieved
by Gen. Stevenson, who, with another brigade, and that of Gen.
Pettus, assumed his position.

Gen. Clayton was slightly wounded in the battle of New Hope
Church, and at Chickamauga he was knocked from his horse by a
grape-shot. At Jonesboro he had three horses killed or disabled
under him.

On returning home, after the surrender, he devoted himself al
most exclusively to farming, with marked success. In 1866, he
was elected Judge of the Eighth Judicial Circuit, which position
he held until July, 1868, when he was removed under the Recon
struction Acts of Congress. His general charge to the Grand
Jury, in Pike county, a portion of which, relating to the condition
of the country, the treatment of our former slaves, and the spirit
which ought to animate the people, was published by the unani
mous request of the Bar, and re-published, North and South, as
a campaign document, will be remembered by many.

In person, Judge Clayton is six feet high, weighs one hundred
and ninety pounds, is slightly bald, very gray for his age, (forty-
four) and is vigorous and healthy. He has a large family, and the
best orchard and vineyard in South East-Alabama, making several
barrels of wine yearly for home and friends, but none to sell. He
takes part in every question of public interest, is patient under
reconstruction, thinks it hard, yet is hopeful, and endures with
fortitude what can not be helped by complaint.

Judge Clayton is a member of the Protestant Episcopal Church,
into which he was confirmed nearly twenty years ago. He still
resides at Clayton, in Barbour county, where he located on being
admitted to the bar in 1849. He is engaged in practicing law,
and also in farming. Such a career and such a record is honora
ble to the State.



662 SenMeoenees of Public Men in Alabama.

To the record already given should be added, injustice to Gren,
Clayton, a letter, published by an unknown correspondent, in a
Southern paper, dated, "In the Field, near Chattahoochee River,
July 7, 1864," under the head of "Our New Generals," of which
the following is an extract:

Lieutenant-General Polk is dead; Lieutenant-General Stewart succeeds him.
The arrny of Mississippi will find in their new chief one who is capable of com
manding their love and confidence. Officers and men of his old division unite in
regrets in losing so kind and so brave a commander. Upon leaving, he issued a
touching address to his troops. He goes surrounded by prestige inferior to none.
If he does not hereafter increase the laurels which he has hitherto worn with so
much modesty, it will be a disappointment to many.

Major-General H. D. Clayton, who succeeds Lieutenant-General Stewart, also
enters upon his new career under happy auspices. He was born in Pulaski
county, Georgia, but at an early age removed to Chambers county, Alabama. He
subsequently studied law at Eufaula, Alabama, and, marrying, located at Clayton,
some twenty miles distant, where he practiced his profession, and acquired con
siderable eminence at the bar. He was for some years a member of the Legisla
ture of his adopted State. He was an early advocate of the secession movement,
and, unlike many of the original prime movers of separation, made good his
words by deeds. He raised one of the first companies of the State, and went to
Pensacola, where he was elected Colonel of the 1st Alabama regiment. In this
capacity he served for one year with great distinction, when, the time of enlist
ment of his regiment having expired, he returned home, and raised the 39th Ala
bama Regiment. He joined Gen. Bragg at Tupelo, Mississippi, with his com
mand, which was placed in what is now Deas brigade. He served with Withers
division throughout the Kentucky campaign. At the battle of Murfreesboro, his
regiment greatly distinguished itself. Col. Clayton there received a wound in the
shoulder, but, notwithstanding that, remained with his command until the sever
est of the fight was over, and only could be induced to leave when fainting from
the loss of blood. For the gallantry he displayed on this field, he won the wreath
of Brigadier-General, and was assigned to Cummings old brigade. At the battle
of Chickamauga, he was again wounded, after having two horses killed under
him. For his skill at Rocky Face Mountain, in February last, he received the
compliments of Major-General Hindman, then commanding Hood s corps, and of
Gen. Johnston.

In the present campaign, his brigade sustained the principal attacks of the
enemy at Mill Creek Gap; at Resaca, on Saturday evening, with Baker s brigade,
charged the enemy and drove them over a mile and a half; and on Sunday even
ing, in the ill-advised attack of Stewart s division, his brigade suffered severely,
but held its ground until ordered to retire. At New Hope Church, he again sus



Online LibraryWilliam GarrettReminiscences of public men in Alabama : for thirty years, with an appendix → online text (page 73 of 91)